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UPDATE: What ASD’s Latest Death Call Data Reveals about COVID-19

Aug 21, 2020


Note: This blog was originally published on August 21, 2020 and is updated weekly with new statistical graphs. Last updated September 22, 2020 at 1:15 p.m. EST.

In early May, ASD began publishing statistical analysis revealing how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected funeral home death calls over time. As the answering service trusted by 45 percent of the nation’s funeral home homes, we estimate that our data represent approximately 30 percent of all death calls in the United States. ASD’s daily figures gave our company unique insight into how the coronavirus impacted the national fatality rate. We decided to make this information public when we realized our data provided a reassuring picture of how the nation’s death rate was beginning to normalize.

During these strange and changing times, real-time data can show with clarity what might otherwise be obscured. Over the past four months, ASD has continued to assess our latest daily statistics and monitor any increases that might indicate a potential second-wave of virus-rlated deaths. In contrast, our figures reveal that the number of death calls handled on a daily basis has continually decreased since Easter weekend. In the graph below, we compare ASD’s current death call data with pre-coronavirus numbers. (Note: click on graph image below to see an enlarged version).

This data reveals conclusively that not only has the number of death calls handled on a daily basis returned to ASD’s normal typical range; it has actually dropped below several times. In addition, ASD’s call patterns do not indicate that funeral homes have become overwhelmed by an increase in COVID-related deaths as they were during the month of April. Perhaps we are in the eye of the COVID-19 hurricane or maybe our country is now better equipped to handle this “new normal” way of life. While we in no way mean to minimize the impact of COVID-19, we feel ASD’s independent data can help to better illuminate how the virus has impacted our national fatality rate as many studies and reports on this topic have been contradictory. We will continue to monitor these numbers closely and share our findings with the funeral service profession.


Death Call Comparisons by Year

Each year the number death calls handled by ASD will increase as our continually growing population passes away. In the graph above, you can see a comparison of the number of death calls handled by ASD in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The first thing you may noticed on this graph is the large surge in the number of death calls ASD handled in April during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this graph also displays a good reason to be hopeful for the future. For the first time, ASD recorded a week with fewer death calls than the year prior. We hope to see this trend continue and to see the number of death calls decease further as our country heals from the devastation caused by COVID-19.


RELATED READING

ASD’s Eye-Opening COVID-19 Death Call Data: An Update
ASD Shares Eye-Opening COVID-19 Death Call Data
ASD Staff Reflect on Answering Calls During the Peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic
How Funeral Service is Adapting to the COVID-19 Outbreak



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About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD's company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com


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